Padel is one of the fastest-growing sports, played by more than 10 million people worldwide and has found a new home for itself at the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay. Camps Bay boasts three courts with more coming soon, while in the coming months, a flagship club will be opened at the V&A Waterfront.
But what exactly does the game entail? Played on a court that’s 25% smaller than a traditional tennis court and surrounded by glass walls, Padel has been called a mix of squash, tennis and badminton. It’s a four-player sport that’s easier to master than tennis, yet it yields the same fitness benefits.
In Spain, the sport is now second only to football in popularity, with citizens drawn to the social nature of the sport. There are more than 20 000 Padel courts in existence in the country, and Spanish tennis sensation Rafael Nadal has even set up a Padel Academy in Mallorca.
The UK’s top tennis player Andy Murray has invested over a million pounds in building 300 Padel courts over five years across the UK. And Swedish former professional tennis player Thomas Johansson heads up the global APT Padel Tour.
Johansson is also involved in Africa Padel, the consortium bringing Padel to South Africa, where there are plans to introduce 200 courts in the next three years.
Johansson says, “South Africa is a key market for us. The people are crazy about sports and socialising, and this is exactly what Padel is about. We hope to have Cape Town on the APT Padel Tour calendar in the near future”.
Africa Padel, of which Johansson is a shareholder, was founded by Swedish entrepreneur Philippe Kjellgren, and boasts some of the world’s best-known businessmen on its board, including South African billionaire Rob Hersov, and CEO of Monte Carlo International Sports Fabrice Pastor.
Monte Carlo International Sports owns and operates APT Padel Tour, which offers the biggest prize money in the sport.
Newly appointed Africa Padel CEO James Baber says, “This is a hugely exciting time for Padel in South Africa. Our existing clubs are already proving very popular among all age groups, and the rollout of more venues across the country is going to give many more people a chance to get a taste of what Padel is all about.”
As tourism opens up in South Africa, the sport’s presence in the country offers another drawcard for European travellers in particular, who see access to Padel as an added bonus and a family-friendly activity that can be enjoyed in beautiful surroundings.
To book you can download the Playtomic app, or for more information visit www.africapadel.com.
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